The Sender / one sheet / USA

11.10.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
The Sender
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
Roger Christian
Starring
Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight, Paul Freeman, Sean Hewitt, Harry Ditson, Olivier Pierre
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Horror | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820173
Tagline
He has the power to make you live his nightmares... And he's dreaming about you. | Your dreams will never be the same.

A striking design appears on this US one sheet for the release of the 1982 horror film The Sender. The film was the feature debut of Roger Christian, a British man who began his prolific career working as an assistant art decorator on productions for the likes of Hammer Studios. This eventually saw him to working as a set decorator on the UK-based sets of the first Star Wars, for which Roger would go on to win an Academy Award. He collaborated with Ridley Scott as a production designer on Alien (1979) and George Lucas again for Return of the Jedi. After completing a few shorts he helmed The Sender in 1982. His most infamous work is the ill-fated, John Travolta-starring Battlefield Earth, which is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

The sender was written by Thomas Baum (The Manhattan Project) and the plot is described on Wikipedia:

A young man (Zeljko Ivanek, in his motion-picture debut) is admitted to a state mental hospital after he attempts suicide at a public beach by filling the pockets of his clothes with rocks and walking into the water in hopes that he will drown. As he shows no signs of being able to remember even his own name, the doctors call him John Doe #83.

Soon after his arrival, Dr. Gail Farmer (Kathryn Harrold) is assigned to him. But before long, she begins seeing and hearing things around her that have no explanation. Soon she begins to make the terrifying connection the things she has been seeing and hearing have to her amnesiac patient.

The film was apparently given a limited release in the US by Paramount pictures in 1982, but I don’t believe it was given a theatrical release anywhere else in the world. It did subsequently appear on home video in other countries, including the UK.

Bite the Bullet / one sheet poster / USA

02.10.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Bite the Bullet
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, Ian Bannen, Jan-Michael Vincent, Robert Donner, Jean Willes, Mario Arteaga, Dabney Coleman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Western
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/132
Tagline
In the tradition of Shane and High Noon, a new Western Classic is born! BITE THE BULLET!

A detailed piece of art by Tom Jung features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1975 Western Bite the Bullet. The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). The story was inspired by a 1908 horseback race that traveled 700 miles from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado.

The nine contestants include a pair of former Rough Riders, Sam Clayton (Gene Hackman) and Luke Matthews (James Coburn) who are both out for the prize fund, despite their friendship. Also in the group is a former prostitute (Candice Bergen), a cocky kid (Jan-Michael Vincent) and an Englishman (Ian Bannen). A train containing the people from the newspaper who created the competition sets off along the route and meets up with the group at various points. We watch as they all suffer from various perilous situations, including attacks from bandits, large wildlife (bear!) and a group of dangerous prisoners. 

The film is a fairly lightweight but enjoyable watch and the main cast are all decent. Hackman and Coburn are, as usual, convincing in their parts and bring needed gravitas to their roles. A speech by Hackman recalling his time during the Spanish-American war is a particular highlight. Reviews were mixed, however, and I don’t believe the film was a great success as the box-office.

As well as the iconic one sheet for Star Wars, Tom Jung is also known for the style B one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. He was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the many posters he worked on. Rather unusually, at least in comparison to other film poster artists, Jung was also a designer of his posters as well as the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels / one sheet / USA

22.09.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels
AKA
Lock & Stock (Spain)
Year of Film
1998
Director
Guy Ritchie
Starring
Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, Sting
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
New Wave Creative
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A disgrace to criminals everywhere

This is the US one sheet for the release of the feature debut of British director Guy Ritchie, 1998’s crime comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. In addition to it being Ritchie’s first, it also introduced audiences to Jason Statham, best known for the Transporter films and recently the Fast and Furious franchise. It also marked the first appearance of British ex-footballer Vinnie Jones. Ritchie had come to attention with his short film The Hard Case which was seen by Trudie Styler and her husband Sting, leading to Styler executive producing Lock, Stock and Sting appearing in the film. Matthew Vaughan, a friend of Ritchie and now a successful director in his own right produced the film.

The film focuses on four lifelong friends who are small-time criminals, Eddy (Nick Moran), Tom (Jason Flemyng), Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Bacon (Statham). At the start of the film Eddy has entered a high-stakes underground card game after the four put together the £100,000 entry fee. The game has been organised by local gangster Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty) and the quartet soon discover that the odds are rigged in Harry’s favour. Before they know it they are half a million pounds in debt and under pressure from one of Harry’s enforcers, Big Chris (Jones).

A desperate Eddy overhears his next door neighbours, a gang of robbers, discussing plans to hold-up a local cannabis farm which also has cash and valuables. Eddy relays the information to his friends and they decide to rob the gang once the heist has taken place. So begins a madcap caper that continues to spiral into violence and an increasing body count. The two barrels in the title refers to a pair of antique shotguns that also feature in the story.

The film was given only a limited release in the US in March of 1999 and this one sheet was designed by the Hollywood marketing agency New Wave Creative. The company has been working on campaigns for major studios for over 25 years and, as well as posters, they also work on trailers and other aspects of film and TV campaigns. Their page on IMPAwards indicates how prolific they were at creating posters and it appears their first one was for a 1998 re-release of Gone with the Wind. It also looks like they stopped working on posters around a decade later and presumably now only focus on other aspects of marketing campaigns. The other posters I have collected by New Wave can be seen here.

$ / one sheet / style A / USA

15.09.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
$
AKA
Dollars (Alt. USA title) | The Heist (UK)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Crime | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/355
Tagline
This is a moving picture!

A simple design features on this one sheet for the US release of the 1971 crime-caper $ (AKA Dollars AKA The Heist). The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). It stars Warren Beatty who was arguably at the height of his career following his appearance in Bonnie and Clyde a few years earlier. He had just finished work on Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller which was released the same year as $. The film also marked the third screen appearance of Goldie Hawn and features Goldfinger himself Gert Fröbe. $ is notable for being filmed on location, including in Hamburg, Germany (where it is largely set) as well as in Sweden and San Diego, California.

The film’s plot is described on IMDb:

[$ is a] caper film about crooks robbing crooks, set in Germany where American bank security expert Joe Collins (Beatty) plots with call-girl Dawn Divine (Hawn) to rob three safety deposit boxes from three criminals; a local drug dealer known as the Candy Man, a Las Vegas mobster, and a crooked U.S. Army sergeant. The heist goes off with few complications. But when Candy Man and the Sarge find their money gone and figure out that Dawn (whom they all have gotten to know) is behind it, they team up to try to get their money back.

Despite receiving solid critical notices $ failed to set the box-office alight and was considered something of a flop on release.

This is one of several one sheets printed for the release of the film and some of the others can be seen by checking out this page on emovieposter.com. I’m unsure who was responsible for the design of this particular poster (known as ‘style A’) so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Being There / B1 / Japan

11.09.17

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Being There
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Hal Ashby
Starring
Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart, Ruth Attaway, David Clennon
Origin of Film
USA | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Drama
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
a story of chance

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the release of Hal Ashby‘s 1979 comedy-drama Being There. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosiński, who was also involved in the initial effort to craft the screenplay, with an uncredited Robert C. Jones. Being There was the penultimate film for the legendary British comedy actor Peter Sellers who would pass away only a year after its release at the untimely age of 54.

Sellers plays Chance, a simple-minded gardener who has lived and worked in the same Washington DC house since he was a young boy. He has never left the house, is unable to read or write and everything he has learnt has come from the TV set in his bedroom. When the owner of the house passes away, Chance is forced to wander the streets wearing the tailored suit of his old employer, unsure what to do next. An accidental encounter with the Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), the wife of the elderly billionaire business mogul Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas), sees him transported in a limousine to the sprawling residence of the Rands. There he meets Ben who mistakenly assumes him to be Chauncey Gardener, a cultured and wise gentleman, who endears himself to the mogul. Rand mistakes his simple proclamations about gardening to be deep metaphors about the state of the economy. Chance even meets the President (Jack Warden), a friend of Rand’s, and influences a major speech he makes. Eventually people around Rand and the President begin to investigate Chauncey Gardener’s background, whilst Ben Rand’s health begins to fail and Eve becomes smitten with Chance.

The film was a critical success and was award-winning, with Sellers being given the Golden Globe for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) and Melvyn Douglas snagging the Best Supporting Actor at the 1980 Academy Awards. The Rand’s home was the incredible Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

The artwork on this Japanese B1 also featured on an international one sheet and the the German poster. I’m unsure who is responsible for the art so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Wicked Lady / one sheet / USA

29.08.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Wicked Lady
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Faye Dunaway, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Denholm Elliott, Prunella Scales, Oliver Tobias, Glynis Barber, Joan Hickson, Helena McCarthy
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Adventure | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830033
Tagline
She's wild. She's wicked. And she really knows how to whip up a good time.

The Wicked Lady is a period drama that was directed by the late Michael Winner and was based on the 1945 film of the same name. Faye Dunaway stars as Barbara whose sister Caroline (Glynis Barber) is due to marry wealthy landowner, Sir Ralph Skelton (Denholm Elliott). Seemingly devoid of any scruples, Barbara seduces Ralph and takes her sister’s place at the wedding. She soon grows bored of just being the wife of a wealthy man and decides to take up highway robbery, depriving wealthy coach travelers of their jewels and other trinkets. Eventually she meets and falls in with a real highway robber, Jerry Jackson (the late Alan Bates), and the pair step up their game by robbing gold bullion-filled stage coaches. Eventually their sloppiness catches up with them and people around Barbara begin to suspect she has some involvement in the robberies. 

The film was a critical and commercial failure and was compared unfavourably with the original film. Dunaway’s character is totally unlikeable and her performance is nothing short of bizarre. Perhaps the worst aspect of the film is the pointless nudity, including one really cringeworthy sex scene by a fire, with a stockings removal setup that’s tortuously long. You can practically hear the sleazy Winner rubbing his knees at the back of the set. Despite a strong cast on paper this is a squandered opportunity.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the art on this American one sheet so if you have an idea please get in touch. It’s not to be confused with the artwork that was used elsewhere around the globe, including the British quad, that was painted by Brian Bysouth.